A 3.6bn euros European Parliament (EP) money pot put by to help IT-focused SMEs will need strong advertising to achieve its aims, the channel has warned.
The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), which runs between 2007 and 2013, is designed to increase European competitiveness and innovation. CIP is divided into three programmes: the start-up and growth of SMEs; IT and the increased use of renewable energy; and reduced energy consumption.
Jorgo Chatzimarkis, rapporteur for the CIP of the EP committee on Industry, Research and Energy, told CRN: “There are plenty of opportunities for VARs to receive funding under CIP. UK SMEs have better chances to receive funding [than other EU member states] through this programme because they receive less regional funding in other areas.”
The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme, which covers the start-up and growth of SMEs, has a budget of 2.17bn euros. It seeks to provide SMEs with benefits such as improved access to finance and innovation.
The ICT Policy Support Programme has a budget of ¤730m and aims to stimulate growth and job creation through more efficient use of IT.
Elaine Axby, principal analyst at Quocirca, told CRN that advertising would be the CIP’s main problem.
“Everything depends on how the channel is made aware of the funding and by what criteria SMEs are judged for the money,” she said.
Rob Jones, marketing manager at VAR CMS Computers, said: “The key to such funding is to let the channel know it is there and available to them. This should help grow the channel and is just what businesses of our size are looking for.”
Pete Mistry, technical sales consultant at VAR Eclipse Group, said: “This is only a good thing. The main percentage of our business comes from SMEs.”
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